Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene personally at the highest level of the US administration to ensure that US President Barack Obama visits the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
“If need be, you may please consider speaking to the President himself,” Badal said in his letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was released to the media here today.
There appears to be some communication gap between the Indian and the US security agencies on the issue, Badal said. Obama is expected to visit India next month and as per reports a brief visit to the Sikh shrine was on his itinerary.
“The US administration may be reminded that international dignitaries, including the Queen of England, have paid their obeisance at the Golden Temple without any security hassles,” Badal said.
The Chief Minister said Sikhs across the world would be disappointed if President Obama did not visit the Golden Temple. On the issue of observance of religious decorum, Badal said the US President would be well aware of the sensitivities involved.
“All across the world, when dignitaries visit religious shrines,they are always briefed about the observance of Maryada of the concerned religion and they always respect the sentiments of the followers of that religion. But if there is any misunderstanding on this issue, it can be resolved at the diplomatic level,” he added.
But there have been reports that Obama’s team was facing the question of what the President should use to cover his head while visiting the Golden Temple.
According to reports, the White House team, which had visited India last month, ruled out Obama wearing the traditional scarf to cover his head.